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In the past, there has been some controversy regarding whether or not the Field Pansy is native to North America as it shares many characteristics with annual Viola spp. from Eurasia. More recently, there is a growing consensus among botanists that the Field Pansy is sufficiently distinct to be considered a native species of North America. The Field Pansy is rather similar to the introduced Viola tricolor (Johnny Jump-Up). However, this latter species has larger tricolored flowers about ½–1" across and the terminal lobes of its stipules tend to have more teeth. Another introduced species, Viola arvensis (Wild Pansy), has yellow-cream flowers and its sepals are at least as long as its petals. Like the Field Pansy, these introduced species produce large stipules that are deeply lobed; this pansy-like characteristic distinguishes them from the Viola spp. that are called violets. A scientific synonym of the Field Pansy is Viola rafinesquii.


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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